iTunes 12.4 is here, but there's no word on that music deletion issue

Apple has updated its iTunes app for Mac and Windows, but it's unclear if the company has addressed the music deletion issue that it had previously acknowledged.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

On Monday, Apple released iTunes 12.4 for Mac and Windows, which updated the interface and navigation. It's not a major overhaul -- most of your years-old frustrations with the bloated program are still there.

But the bigger issue is whether or not Apple has addressed a long-percolating issue that may -- or may not -- wipe out users' carefully curated digital music collections.

Consider the plight of Apple Music subscriber James Pinkstone. He took to his blog earlier this month to warn fellow users about a potentially catastrophic issue with Apple's streaming service.

According to the post, Apple Music deleted 122 GB of music from Pinkstone's laptop without his permission. Making matters worse, Pinkstone had composed some of the music himself, and the original WAV files he created were converted to lower-quality audio files during the process.

The entire story is reminiscent of what popular Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple went through shortly after Apple Music first launched.

Thankfully, Pinkstone had a recent backup of his music library and was able to recover everything he thought he'd lost. And Dalrymple, too, was able to recover his files (with Apple's help).

But now the problem that had been blamed on Apple Music (Apple's Spotify-like subscription music service that debuted in 2015) may be more of an iTunes issue.

On Friday, Apple provided The Loop (Dalrymple's site) with a statement acknowledging that "an extremely small number" of users had described instances of files being deleted from a personal music library without the user's permission. Apple went on to say the company is investigating the issue, and an upcoming iTunes update will add "safeguards" to prevent the issue from occurring.

That said, the statement from Apple also notes the company has been unsuccessful with attempts to replicate the issue in testing.

That brings us back to iTunes 12.4. Though its release coincides with the music-deletion woes, it's unclear if the update included the promised "safeguard." An Apple representative did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

Despite Apple's inability to reproduce the issue, it's a relief the company is actively working on preventing further headaches for its users. Apple asks those who have experienced issues with missing files from a music library to contact AppleCare.

Users interested in the iTunes 12.4 update can click the "update" tab on the Mac App Store, or download the app for Windows and Mac at Apple's site.

Editors' note: This post was updated on Tuesday, May 17, to add information about iTunes 12.4.